Monday, June 8, 2015

Kuldhara: An Abandoned & Cursed Village of Rajasthan

अतीत के आगोश में जाने कितनी कहानिया छुपी आज भी है, जाने कितने साल गुजर गए, जाने कितने लम्हें बीत गए, शायद इंतज़ार है उन्हें एक दस्तक की जो उनकी खामोशियो को तोड़े, और इतिहास के पन्नो की अनसुलझी  पहेलियाँ को सुलझाये ।

केहते  है सच कभी छुपता नहीं और झूट की उम्र लम्बी नहीं होती, लेकिंग क्या सच है क्या झूठ ये वक़्त पे ही छोडना सही होगा। मेरी तलाश तो कभी खत्म नहीं होगी और ये सफर तो मिलो लंबा है । ऐसी ही एक सफर मुझे आज एक खामोश गाँव में ले आई है जहाँ कभी इंसानो की भीड़ थी और आज सिर्फ सन्नाटा, ख़ामोशी और सिर्फ खली माकन.

कुलधरा, जैसलमेर से 15 km पच्छिम राजस्थान के एयरफोर्स स्टेशन के पास एक गाँव ….गाँव… मेरे ख्याल से इससे गाँव बोलना ठीक नहीं होगा, शायद इससे इसकी पहचान धुधली न पड जाये. गाँव तो इंसानो से होता है वीरान खड़े मकानो से नहीं.
Kuldhara Village
केहते है यहाँ की फ़िज़ाएं, सूनी गालिया, खाली खण्डार सब कुछ प्रेतवाधित (haunted) है, कुछ पैरानॉर्मल एक्सपर्ट्स ने यहाँ पे, टेम्परेचर में अचानक होते परिवर्तन को महसूस किया है.

क्या हुआ होगा यहाँ ?क्यों हर माकन सूनसान  है ?क्या वजह है यहाँ फैले ख़ामोशी के पीछे ?

कुलधरा जिसकी कहानी की शुरुवात 1291 में हुई थी और ये गाँव कभी पालीवाल ब्रहिमनस का हुआ करता था, जो एक बहुत ही समृद्ध कबीला था और व्यावसायिक कौशल और कृषि ज्ञान के लिए जाने जाते थे.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

History of Pushkar Fair - Largest Cattle Fair of World

Caparisoned camels, folk music and dance, colorful cattle and a touch of Rajasthan culture that's a glimpse of world’s largest cattle fair at Rajasthan, Pushkar fair.

Camel Racing at Pushkar Fair - Rajasthan
If you have ever visited in it, you must be knowing what I am referring to. And if never visited, believe me you are missing one of most enjoyable fair which make you feel close to culture at most sacred pilgrim destination of Rajasthan. The fair is celebrated for five days starting from Karthika Ekadashi to Karthika Poornima (the day of ritual oblation). Karthika Poornima is the main day of Pushkar Fair. The fair is certainly the world’s biggest camel fair. Hundreds of shops sell camels, horses, bulls, cows and other cattle. The fair is a perfect instance of the cohabitation of the religious faith and commercial interest of the human society.

Legend Behind Pushkar Fair

Lord Brahma was flying over the Rajasthan desert on his swan, when some petals fell from his hand and drifted down. Miraculously, blue lakes sprang up where the flowers had touched the soft sands. Just then, Lord Brahma realized that this was the auspicious moment to perform a fire sacrifice or yagna. His wife Savitri was not with him at that time and the yagna would be incomplete without her.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Maharana Pratap Hero Of Haldighati

Maharana Pratap (also known as Rana Pratap) was a ruler of Mewar, a state in north-western India. He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs..

Rana Pratap was born at Kumbhalgarh on Sunday the May 9, 1540 to Maharana Udai Singh II and Maharani Javanta Bai Songara (Chauhan).some historians believe it to be Juni Kacheri near Pali District.Pratap was eldest of 25 brothers and 20 sisters.

Maharana Pratap got married to Ajabade(daughter of Rao Ram Rakh Panwar), at the age of 17 and were soon blessed by a son named Amar Singh.Rana Pratap had 17 sons and five daughters.

Maharana Udai Singh II died at the early age of 42, leaving behind twenty-five sons. Setting aside the established laws of Primogenitor, he proclaimed his favorite son Jagmal; his successor,but his senior nobles wanted Pratap, the eldest son, to be their king.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resuming Journey with a Good Note: Happy New Year

With each New Year we move ahead leaving past behind. All good and sour moments remain in yesterday and we move to make new moments of happiness. With a hope of better tomorrow, more happiness and success I wish you a very Happy New Year !!

As the new time begins lets join hand again for more exciting journey, places and royal experience with me back on 'Royal Registan'. Last break was a bit longer : ) but lets together resume our journey of princely Rajasthan.

There are many surprises and giveaways waiting ahead for you on this journey this year.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Kevin Frayer

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Painting on Old Jaipur State Revenue Stamp Paper

There have always been a keen interest of art lovers in Rajasthani painting and it is obvious when due to most of art schools of Rajasthan. How can one forget to mention Bani Thani and other famous arts of Rajasthan.

One another form of Jaipur painting is 'Painting on revenue stamp paper'. 

Before independence, Indian revenue stamps were closely modelled on similar designs from Great Britain, While most princely states that had issued stamps from the nineteenth century stopped with independence, Jaipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Sikkim continued to do so until the 1960s.

Those type of papers is main attraction of this style of painting.

Wish to have these on wall of your drawing room :) ? 

Don't worry you can have these with as low as INR 500 ($10) nowadays (reprinted copy of original stamps). You can also get original old stamp but bit more expensive.. somewhat around INR 2500 - INR 3000

Friday, March 29, 2013

Know about place where Bike is worshiped ?

You might have seen a lot of temples, but have you ever thought about a temple where Bike (Enfield) is worshiped?

This place is 50 km away from Jodphur on the highway to Pali, near Chotila village.

This place is an accident prone site, hence a sign board has been put up to tell the traveler and commuters to slow down.

Om Banna Bike
It is know for 'Bullet Baba' (Om Banna). Hundreds of devotees turn up every day to pray for a safe journey, often bearing liquor.

It may sound bit surprising to most of people but its a really divine place for nearby people as well for most of vehicles passing highway.  Every day nearby villagers and travelers stop and pray to the bike and its late owner Om Singh Rathore. The temple beside the Enfield motorbike has a big picture of Om Banna.

It is said that a person who does not stop to pray at the shrine is in for a dangerous journey. The story goes that back in 1991, on a fateful summer night, Om Bana was returning from Pali to his native Chotila on his Bullet 350 when it skidded and hit a tree, killing him on the spot. The tree stands over the battered vehicle till date. Villagers say after Om Bana’s death, the motorbike was taken to a local police station. But next day morning, it was found at the accident spot.

Police initially thought it was a prank and after emptying the fuel tank they brought the bike back to the
Om Banna
station. However, the motorcycle was again at the accident spot the next day. As soon as the story spread, people in the nearby village built a platform on the spot where the death occurred and started offering prayers. Many shops offering incense sticks, flowers, coconut and red thread meant for offering prayers have sprung up near the shrine. Local people sing folk songs in the name of Om Bana who owned the Royal Enfield. The cause of his death, the tree itself remains ornamented with offerings of bangles, scarves and rope. The temple even has its own priest, who has been incharge of the upkeep of the shrine for two decades.

Travellers, especially drivers of vehicles that pass by, offer prayers at the site, which is almost in the middle of the road. Some drivers also offer a small bottle of country liquor at the site.

A mini-economy has sprouted around the shrine. Over the last few years, at least a dozen shops have come up around its premises, selling everything from religious offerings like flowers, incense sticks, kumkum, turmeric and camphor to memorabilia including VCDs, audio tapes, key chains, necklaces, charms, rings and of course, photographs of Om Bana in all sizes.

You may hardly find any tourist vehicle not having memento of 'Om Banna' for his divine blessings in it :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Remembering The Princely State: Rajputana (Mewar) - II

Thanks for such a support on previous post about Shekhawai, today in same series I would love to share about another region of princely Rajputana - Mewar, a land of warriors. (Also about less known 'Great wall of China' :) )

Mewar is south central region of Rajasthan. It include areas with historical importance such as Bhilwara, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand majorly.

Fort of Chittorgarh
There is a saying in Rajasthan
"Garh to Bas Chittorgarh, baki Sab Garhiya" which means "Chittorgarh is the only fort, rest of all are fortresses". This single saying itself describe the impact of Mewar, its pride and history.  At first glance Chittorgarh does not present a very pretty picture, unlike the lavish splendor of Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan or Udaipur’s Lake Palace. But it is when you look at the background of this fort, that you feel its true spirit. Chittorgarh was the capital of the Mewar kingdom. Mewar, a name synonymous with bravery, honor and pride.

This was the only Rajput kingdom which refused to surrender to Akbar, and even after the Mughal Army conquered it, they were never allowed to rest in peace.

Chittorgarh fort was once who witnessed Jauhar of Rani Padmini rather than falling into the hands of the invaders,  Maharana Pratap swored not to eat in silver vessels, and slept on the ground, until he recaptured this fort from the Mughals. Also Mira Bai composing wonderful bhajans in praise of Lord Krishna.

In 734 A.D, Bappa Rawal , founded the kingdom of Mewar, with Chittorgarh as the capital but was attacked and captured by Allaudin Khilji in 1303 AD.

Less known Great wall of India - Kumbhalgarh
Many may not know but one of later ruler of Chitorgarh 'Rana Kumbha' erected around 32 forts, and the famous fort of Kumbhalgarh in this region. This is the second largest continuous wall on the planet. Also refered by some as 'The Great Wall of India' although this is little known outside its own region. His rule is also know a Golden era of Mewar region.

Later Rana Sanga made Mewar most powerful Rajput state with hardcore warriors. Due to this no much wonder most known and deadly warriors as well wars have been marked in this region. He lost Mewar to Mughals in Batte of Khanwa which en-marked start of Mughal rule in this region. Mewar never remained a piece of cake for Mughals not even for Akbar who was challenged by bravest and most valiant hero 'Maharana pratap', he was the only Rajput king, who refused to accept Akbar’s rule. In 1576, the famous Battle of Haldighati took place.

In the end however it was a pyhric victory for the Mughals, as they suffered great losses. Rana Pratap later with the help of the Bhils recaptured many forts in Mewar from the Mughals. However his dream of recapturing Chittorgarh was never realized in his lifetime, and later with Udaipur becoming the capital